Mai Yamani

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Mai Yamani
Born6 Sept 1956 (1956-09-06) (age 64)
OccupationAnthropologist, scholar, author
Academic background
EducationBryn Mawr College
Somerville College, Oxford
Academic work
InstitutionsVisiting scholar at Carnegie Middle East Centre, Beirut, 2008-2009.

Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution, Washington DC, 2008.

Research Fellow at Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, London, 1997-2007

Mai Yamani (Arabic: مي يماني‎; born 6 September 1956) is an independent Saudi scholar, author and anthropologist.

Early life[edit]

Yamani was born in Cairo, Egypt in 1956 to an Iraqi mother from Mosul and a Saudi Arabian father from Mecca. Her paternal grandfathers came from Yemen, hence the surname Yamani ("from Yemen"). Her early education included schooling in Baghdad, Iraq and Mecca, Saudi Arabia.[1] She attended secondary school at the renowned Château Mont-Choisi in Lausanne, Switzerland from 1967 to 1975. She received her B.A. Degree summa cum laude (with highest honors) from Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania; and subsequently attended Somerville College, University of Oxford, where she was the first Yemeni woman to obtain a M.St. and a D.Phil. from Oxford, in Social Anthropology.[1]


She started her career as a university lecturer in Saudi Arabia, and became a scholar at leading international think tanks in the U.S., Europe, and the Middle East.[2] She has been a research fellow at the Royal Institute for International Affairs in London; a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC; and a visiting scholar at Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut. She speaks fluent Arabic, English, French and Spanish, and has a working knowledge of Persian, Hebrew and Italian.


  • Changed Identities: The Challenge of the New Generation in Saudi Arabia. Royal Institute of International Affairs. 2000. ISBN 978-1-86203-088-6. (Arabic: هويات متغيرة : تحديات الجيل الجديد في السعودية )
  • Cradle of Islam: The Hijaz and a Quest for Arabian Identity. I.B.Tauris. 21 August 2009. ISBN 978-0-85773-110-4.


  1. ^ a b "Mai Yamani — Somerville College Oxford". Retrieved 2020-06-26.
  2. ^ "Mai Yamani". Carnegie Middle East Center. Retrieved 2020-06-26.

External links[edit]